At Ashby Thelen Lowry, our Atlanta personal injury attorneys know that after over a decade, the rideshare industry operates throughout Georgia without rider hesitation.

Riders of all ages and backgrounds are exceptionally comfortable using an app to book a ride with Uber or Lyft in seconds without the initial skepticism for safety that existed when they first entered the market.

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Riders face many experiences involving chatty drivers or those with less-than-desirable music or incense choices, which has become part of the rideshare landscape. Now, unfortunately, countless reports of riders experiencing unwanted physical contact, indecent exposure, and even sexual assaults are developing across the country.

How Often Are Rideshare Sexual Assaults Occurring?

Uber’s first safety report revealed 5,981 sexual violence or assault allegations in 2017 and 2018 — 3,045 of which were in 2018. Lyft’s first safety report was released in 2020 and showed similar percentages of sexual violence against rideshare passengers. Uber released safety data for 2020 also, reporting 998 sexual assault incidents, including 141 rape reports.

The report includes a statement from Uber: “The change in the rate of sexual assault reports over time may have been impacted by many factors, including how the Covid-19 pandemic altered usage of the platform as well as Uber’s safety and transparency efforts,” Uber said in the report. “But each reported incident represents a harrowing lived experience for the survivor. Even one report is one report too many.”

Why Are Rideshare Sexual Assaults So Prevalent?

Rideshare services provide an opportunity for perpetrators to target vulnerable individuals who may be intoxicated, unfamiliar with the area, or in a hurry to reach their destination. This can make passengers more susceptible to assault.

In addition, drivers and passengers can remain relatively anonymous during rideshare transactions, encouraging perpetrators to commit crimes without fear of being identified or caught.

Rideshare trips also often involve one-on-one interactions between drivers and passengers, which can create a sense of isolation and vulnerability, particularly when traveling late at night or in remote areas.

While rideshare companies typically conduct background checks on their drivers, these checks may not always be thorough enough to detect past criminal behavior or red flags. This can potentially allow individuals with a history of violence or misconduct to become rideshare drivers.

Despite rideshare companies’ efforts to implement safety features such as in-app emergency assistance and driver background checks, gaps in safety protocols or enforcement may still exist, leaving passengers vulnerable to harm.

If you have been a victim of an Uber and Lyft sexual assault, physical assault, unwanted physical contact, indecent exposure, or rape, we can help you enforce your legal rights to hold the company accountable for the driver’s actions.

Contact our skilled sexual assault lawyers and support team at Ashby Thelen Lowry at (404) 777-7771 to schedule a free consultation. This will ensure your rights are protected so you can make informed decisions about the direction of your claim.

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